Inclusive Education and Persons with Disabilities in a Post Covid-19 Era

Christmas is believed to be a period of sharing, giving gifts and expressing love in many pleasant ways. For AIFA Reading Society, this special occasion is normally spent with Special persons and Orphanage homes in the society. The Society through its Spreading Cheer initiative marks the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. This is an annual event the Society has adopted since inception to serve as a means of reaching out to special persons by promoting inclusive learning amongst these persons.

“Leave No one behind”, the United Nations says.

Accordingly, every December the Society selects a special school to spread its cheer. This year, December 15, 2021, the Wesley Schools for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos was visited and provided with relevant educational materials. This exercise aims at narrowing the chasm existing in education pre – and – post – covid19. On that day students of the Wesley School 1&2 using sign language, communicated some book passages whilst the English teacher interpreted same to representatives of the Society. In addition, the students were excited to also teach representatives of the AIFA Reading Society some commonly used signs helping each individual fully participate and interact.

Students of Wesley Schools for the Hearing Impaired

In conversation with the school teachers, the representatives of the Society were informed of a major challenge faced by these teachers (for hearing impaired children) which is the lack of adequate image representation for all words. They noted that the non-existence of images and symbols to best represent or describe specific words during teaching makes it a more difficult task particularly with regard to teaching and comprehension. They thanked the Society for providing the school with colourful materials which will undoubtedly help in solving some of the challenges faced. Appreciation from the school’s proprietors reads “We want to sincerely appreciate your support and gifts to hearing impaired children. The good Lord will bless and increase you from every sides. You will not lack and your vision will not go dim in Jesus name. Thanks and God bless you.”

With the drive to combat the disruption and ugly impact of the COVID-19 and plan towards a remarkable post COVID phase, AIFA Reading Society identifies the need to play a major role in supporting the set goals by the United Nations: ‘to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities by supporting education for special persons’.  The 2020 theme for the International Day for Persons Living with Disabilities focuses on,
Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World. 
In previous years, the Society has been providing viable sustainable and developmental support to special schools in order to encourage equality among everyone. Every Child deserves quality education.
                             A community of Readers
The Spreading Cheer initiative is a project set up by the AIFA Reading Society to put smiles on the faces of children living with disabilities and orphanages by providing them with tools necessary to build the innate potential within them through equal opportunity at learning. The Society believes every individual has a vital role to play to tackle educational challenges in the society and it starts with us.
This project was supported by  Learn Africa Plc, Rasmed Publications Limited, Beta Gamma Sigma, Chapter of Lagos Business School and friends of the Society. 

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